Man sentenced to 9.5 years in federal prison for attempting to fire loaded gun at federal agent

A Chicago man was sentenced Tuesday for attempting to fire a loaded gun at federal agents and task force officers while holding a toddler in 2020.

Joseph Hammond, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this year to assaulting a federal officer and using a firearm during a crime of violence. A federal judge sentenced him after a hearing in Chicago.

On June 3, 2020, agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives approached Hammond near the 6800 block of South Sangamon Street in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood while investigating a report of a man holding a gun and a toddler, prosecuters say. 

As the agents and officers approached in a vehicle, Hammond pointed the gun at an agent and said, "move along." Hammond pulled the trigger, but it misfired. 

Hammond then ran from the area while holding the toddler. The agents pursued Hammond and arrested him nearby. Neither the toddler nor the agents were injured.


"By running through Englewood at 1:00 a.m. and brandishing a loaded firearm at law enforcement, defendant threatened the lives of the law enforcement officers, the public, and his own family," Assistant U.S. Attorney Misty N. Wright argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  "It is this rush to threats and violence that is getting people killed in our communities."

Hammond was sentenced to nine and a half years in federal prison.